What is now WE, was established in 1993 by a small group of industry leaders at a hotel in London Heathrow, as an International Chapter of the US-based International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). Only 15 months later, the first international event was held at the new Disneyland Paris, heralding the beginning of an exciting and expanding industry.
In 1999 the name was changed to the European Bottled Watercoolers Association (EBWA) and the structure to become a Federation of National Associations, enabling direct communication with the EU Commission in accordance with their representational structure.
In 2011 the final name change was to WATERCOOLERS EUROPE (WE). WE initiates and co-ordinates the formation of national associations through which individual company membership is represented.
WE has been honoured to have been led by many inspirational and far-sighted Chairs over the years. In Dublin 2018, WE enjoyed its 25th anniversary celebrated here with Yariv Shapira, Gustav Felix, Derek Callaghan, Ab Olde Sheper, Phillipa Clow, Francois Jolly, Michal Zys, John Dundon and Peter Hogervorst.
Each year, WE hosts an annual conference and trade fair bringing both Members and non-members together to reflect on the industry, discuss its direction and see new products. A different European city is chosen and enjoyed each year by the industry.
The Aqua Awards
The Aqua Awards have long been a part of WE. These are presented to Member companies at the prestigious Aqua Awards dinner, held at the annual event.